OFMC Burns Some Miles



Anonymous Lurker Poop

Bikers along the shore of Yellowstone Lake.

After a three-night stay in Jackpot, Nevada, it was time for us to do some moving. Our next night’s stop was set for Heber City, Utah, and nearly 300 miles away. The plan was to head south to Wells and then take I-80 east through Salt Lake City and on to Heber City. This is not what you would describe as a fun ride–it was just a matter of burning up some miles.

Before we headed out, though, Dennis checked his weather app and showed us that it was projecting heavy thunderstorms all along the I-80 corridor. Was there a different route?

Consulting the map we saw that there was. If we went back north to Twin Falls and then east the way we came on I-84 past Burley we would reach a spot where I-86 split off from I-84. I-86 was the way we had come down from Idaho Falls so we didn’t want that, but I-84 turned southeast to where it hit I-15 a little north of Ogden, Utah. The two roads merged and continued south until, a little south of Ogden, I-84 split off again and made a loop around Salt Lake City to the northeast, terminating when it hit I-80 coming west out of Wyoming. From there we would go west (theoretically–in actuality it was south) on I-80 to where we would jump off at U.S. 40 and go south to Heber City.

Either way we were destined to do a lot of interstate but this route would at least help us avoid Salt Lake and also the possible severe storms. We headed toward Twin Falls.

What can you say about interstate miles? You just ride them. We hit I-15 and went south and as we got closer to the urban areas the traffic started getting heavy. But those folks in Utah don’t believe in driving slow. We were in thick traffic going a steady 80 mph, and don’t you even think about going slower.

Heavier and heavier grew the traffic until we could see, just ahead, traffic at a standstill. Wondrously, this was right at our exit onto I-84 and we pulled into the right-hand lane hardly slowing down and passed all these stopped cars and left them all in our rear view mirrors. Hallelujah!

Now we were on a road none of us had ever been on before. Heck, I didn’t even know this road existed. I-84 cuts through a very pretty area that I’m sure not that long ago was completely rural but is now obviously becoming something of a bedroom community for the metro areas. Sad to see. But it was a very nice ride (for interstate), with sparse traffic and good speeds. I knew that somewhere along the way we were going to have to cut through the hills on either side of us, presumably down some canyon. And I was right.

We turned down this canyon and now it really got nice. And there was a very welcome rest area right there that we availed ourselves of. Rolling again, we came out of the canyon, cruised on a bit further, and hit I-80. The section of I-80 we were on was also pretty nice and in about 13 miles we got off onto U.S. 40.

Now we were seeing the storm clouds we had been warned about. Dead ahead of us it was looking pretty black. The sign said it was only 14 miles to Heber City but we were pretty sure we’d be getting wet. But with only 14 miles, nobody felt like gearing up. We’d just get wet for a few minutes if it came to that.

Then we hit the traffic we had avoided by going around Salt Lake City. This was Friday and everyone in the city was heading to the hills for the weekend. Traffic on U.S. 40 was backed up, stop and go, for miles. If the rain did more than just drip, as it was doing, we’d be drenched. But we got past a lone traffic signal that seemed to be causing the entire back-up and gained some speed again. It was dripping a bit more as we rolled into Heber City but we pulled into the entrance to our hotel and quickly unloaded.

Then the skies opened up. And we didn’t care.

Biker Quote for Today

I use to love the rain because I felt like it made my motorcycles exactly the same as everybody else. At that point it turned into a rider to rider battle. — Kevin Schwantz

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